Her windswept hair symbolizes blazing fire (wisdom) and its power to burn worldly knowledge (vikpala). The crown features five skulls that represent the five afflictions (anger, greed, pride, ignorance, and jealousy). A third eye is also present that signifies the power to see in the past, present, and future. Zoom in on her navel and a symbol of the sun is present while atop her head is the peacock parasol that marks ultimate enlightenment. Her hands hold a skull cup filled with the blood and brain ruined by confusion and superstition. His right hand has a trident with a skull which symbolizes the tool to conquer death. A closer look at his ensemble shows him sporting tiger and snakeskin that marks his victory over fear. The hide of her mule also shows a single eye that represents the power to see the unseen. The imagery on top of the mule is rich with elements such as severed heads, body parts, weapons, and more which all stand for Palden Lhamo’s ability to transform obstacles to pursue enlightenment. The ocean of blood is also symbolic of the cycle of samsara (blood being vital in death and rebirth) and this shows Palden Lhamo being able to cross such a red ocean—a signal that those who follow her have the chance to stop the cycle of samsara and find nirvana.
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